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Mastercard to Enable Direct NFT Payment Options for Marketplace Operators

The payments giant Mastercard says it will begin enabling non-fungible token (NFT) trading for a range of crypto-ecosystem platforms, including the “gas-free” marketplace Immutable X, Candy Digital, the metaverse gaming title The Sandbox, Mintable, Spring, the Nifty Gateway, and the Web 3 infrastructure provider MoonPay.

The company made the announcement via a post on its website, which was authored by Raj Dhamodharan, the firm’s Executive Vice President of Blockchain Digital Asset Products and Partnerships. Dhamodharan wrote that Mastercard was now “working with” the aforementioned companies to “allow people to use their Mastercard cards for NFTs purchases, whether that’s on one of these companies’ marketplaces or using their crypto services.”

The move will effectively let anyone with a Mastercard buy NFTs from the marketplaces – rather than requiring them to first swap their fiat holdings for crypto.

Mastercard pointed out that – as it claims there are some 2.9 billion Mastercard cards in circulation worldwide – the move would shake up the NFT market.

The firm wrote:

“This change could have a big impact on the NFT ecosystem. Buy the NFTs you want on the marketplace of your choice. No need to buy crypto first.”

Further, the payments giant added that “with the help of these companies,” Mastercard would continue with its “expanding adoption of Web3.”

Dhamodharan noted that Mastercard has already taken its “payment network” to the crypto exchange Coinbase’s new NFT marketplace, which rolled out last month.

He claimed that such “integrations” were “designed to make crypto more accessible and help the NFT ecosystem keep growing.”

Dhamodharan pointed at data from a survey conducted among Mastercard users (“35,000 people in 40 countries”), which found that 45% of customers “had purchased an NFT or would consider doing so,” with “roughly half” wanting the ability “to pay with crypto for everyday purchases.”

The firm added that it was “applying” its “full suite of capabilities to reinforce customer safety” – claiming that NFT transactions would be protected with “similar” levels of security to those used in offline or web-based purchases. It said that its “cybersecurity tools” would help ensure both safety and the integrity of user data.

The Executive Vice President concluded that Mastercard saw “enormous potential” in the NFT market, and said that the payments provider was “looking forward to continuing our work with all these companies to make sure this market can become even more welcoming, accessible, and easy.”

Earlier this year, the crypto outfit Nexo (NEXO) announced it had issued a card – in partnership with Mastercard – that lets customers spend without first selling their digital assets.


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